Five of the best hotels near London Bridge
There’s a touch of the Austin Powers in the groovy design of this attention-grabbing hotel, but nothing clichéd about its way of doing business. It dispenses with niceties such as reception desks and minibar bills, instead providing automated check-in, freebie refreshments in the fridge, top-dollar showers and helpful, unstuffy staff to help you out with any queries. The café/bar on the ground floor is for socialising; rooms are a little too bijou for that.
A thoroughly modern Hilton, tricked out in contemporary, über urban style with a bronzed metal façade, as well as a lot of polished concrete, challenging art and industrial detail to remind you that a trip to Tate Modern might be an idea before you get too comfortable. For all its surface grit, this is a warm and inviting hotel, with a great dining room and swimming pool and gym to boot.
The façade of this quietly glamorous, independently owned establishment right by the station reminds you of an old black-and-white film – it was designed in 1916 and housed a telephone exchange. Inside, the trendy Quarter Bar and huge lobby are an Instagrammer’s dream – all curvy leather chairs and splashy art – and the rooms are stylishly appointed with great showers, White Company toiletries, mineral water and the usual digital mod cons.
A step up from the average budget chain hotel, this Mercure branch is excellently placed for Borough Market and Tate Modern, has an attractively laid-out lobby, with a friendly bar and plenty of room to watch the world go by with a drink. Our experience of the rooms has been generally positive: some are on the pokey side, but mostly they’re clean, comfortable, with good showers and amenities. The staff are young, friendly and very helpful.
The highest hotel in Western Europe, housed in the Shard, provides the ultimate room with a view, which, from any of the 202 rooms on floors 34-51, is positively jaw-dropping. The building’s position, bestriding London Bridge station and reaching up 310m to scrape the sky, guarantees that no other structures will interfere with your personal panorama. Gong, on floor 52, is Europe’s highest cocktail bar; Ting, on 35, is the restaurant. Service and amenities are top flight, as befits a five-star price.
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